Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cornwall II: Newquay & Cornish Food

Our primary agenda in visiting Cornwall was the coastal village of Newquay (pronounced New Key). Basically it's a "young people's haven," which is really just Sandy's way of saying it's a party town. The surfing in England leaves much to be desired, but Newquay is one of the few places rideable waves form with any regularity. This was my least favourite part of our trip: the people were rude, the town trashy, and the clubs were actually annoying enough to make me homesick. I really just wanted to curl up on a sofa with a few people, a few books, maybe a movie, and relax.

Besides my aversion to the town and its inhabitants, we really did have a decent time. Our little group went out dancing, had Indian food, walked on the beach, and I didn't suffer too much after a few deep breaths. Actually, there was an aquarium in the town, and I just kept reminding myself that it could be worse: we could be there. The little lodge we stayed in (pictured) functioned as a very high-end hostel, and even though the shower spewed gallons of water onto the floor, I don't think we had any complaints. Well, the dozen or so of our party who managed to catch the cold / flu / bronchitis in the last week were less than thrilled, but I doubt that had as much to do with the accommodations as it did with the noise on the street below.

Now to the food: pictured is a cream tea - with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry jam, of course - and a bowl of blue cheese and broccoli soup. If ever offered one or both of these items, eat it! Elderflower Pressé, from the Cornish Orchards company, is also a great investment. It's a clear soda with a mild, fruity flavor. Well, I guess it tastes like Elderflower, but who in America knows what that tastes like?

Cream tea is a mandatory experience in Cornwall, and - as some people will tell you - so is the Cornish Pasty. I am not one of those people. It is nasty. Imagine hamburger helper without any seasonings served lukewarm after being run through a blender. OK, maybe that's a little harsh. Either way, the crust (the part you're not supposed to eat according to tradition) is the best part.

Anyways, if you must try the nasty pasty (yes, it is pronounced to rhyme), I suggest lots of ketchup and at least two bottles of the Elderflower Pressé to get you through it.

Chad says P.S. - the onion and cheese flavour isn't as bad as the traditional steak.

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